Communication is an integral part of being human. It is a tool that we use to influence others. Humans are social animals and we love to open our mouths and talk. From music to celebrities, we love to blabber about various things. Communication does not have to be verbal. It can be physical or symbolic as well. Our facial expressions and body posture communicate how we feel. It is very hard to control these facial expressions, which is why it is a good indicator of how someone is feeling. Humans never seem to stop communicating. Studies have shown that there is a need for humans to communicate. Communication meets our physical needs by maintaining our psychological wellbeing. Without this psychological wellbeing a lot of weird things can happen. A few days without human interaction can drive people into insanity. I already know that people have a psychological need to communicate, but I would like to research how communication meets our physical needs.
To answer this question, I have gathered information from three studies. These studies demonstrate how communication meets out physical needs. The first source I will be using is the famous McGill University isolation experiment. A group of volunteers were put in total isolation, and the effects of the participants were noted in a paper known titled “Effects of decreased variation in the sensory environment”. This will show how the lack of communication can cause issues. The second source I will be using is a paper “Pain, depression, and fatigue: Loneliness as a longitudinal risk factor”. The study was divided into two studies. Study 1 consisted of a sample of cancer survivors and benign controls whom were assessed for two years. Study 2 consisted of older adults that had dementia. They were assessed for four years.
I will now examine a paper by the name of “Effects of decreased variation in the sensory environment”. There were twenty-two volunteers in the study. These volunteers were placed in cubicles with beds for twenty-four hours a day. Their sensory input was heavily restricted. They wore special goggles to prevent them from seeing much, gloves to limit the sense of touch, and handcuffs. They were to lay in their beds for some period of time, and then leave to be tested. They could take a few minutes to use the restroom, and or eat. They were paid 10 dollars a day, which was good pay for the time. The participants were tested before going into the cubicle. Then they were tested after twelve hours. Then they were tested after twenty-four hours. Then they were tested after thirty-six hours. After they exited the cubicle, and removed the things, they appeared to be dazed. The tests involved arithmetic operations with 2 or 3 digits. On average, the more time elapsed, the more mistakes were made. This shows how isolation affects the mind.
Over time, the participants experienced great boredom. This was due to the lack of stimulation. According to the paper, the participants would sing, whistle, tap their handcuffs together, and do all sorts of other things to occupy their mind. They would also attempt to explore the cubicle around them. This experiment had some effects on the participants that participated. In addition to arithmetic errors, there were a lot of hallucinations.
The participants also experienced restlessness, emotional lability, and disturbed visual perception. This study is a good example of what will happen when you don’t communicate or process sensory input for an extended period of time. Deprivation of all human contact or sensory input is not healthy at all. It could have long term effects on your mental health. But that is exactly what happened to those student volunteers who participated in the experiment.
While its nice to have some alone time for yourself, be sure to socialize often.